Exploration history of East Greenland 69°–82°NPRE-1918c. 4300 BC – 1823 PaleoeskimosAbout 6300 years ago, long before Euro...
British whaling about 1750 was linked to the introduction of a government bounty. Fluctuations inwhaling returns, especial...
Kap Brewster and Kap Moorsom, the first recorded by European visitors; areas farther north wereobserved from a great dista...
SØSTRENE and SPIDSBERGEN in 1899 including 79 and 69 muskox respectively, and the first two livemuskox calves, while SPIDS...
Greenland, which sailed from Copenhagen in early June 1891 aboard the Norwegian sealer HEKLA,captained by Ragnvald Knudsen...
1900 Swedish zoological expedition, led by Gustav KolthoffGustav Kolthoff led a zoological expedition to Spitzbergen and E...
parties, in all 10 men and 86 dogs. Two of the parties turned back from 80°30 N, surveying on the wayand reaching the ship...
they attempted to retrace Mylius-Erichsen’s route and located two cairn reports. Returning home alongthe outer coast of Kr...
(70°–71°N) in 1911. The project was brought to fruition in 1924 due to the interest and influence ofEjnar Mikkelsen. The “...
station was established by Janus Sørensen in 1927. The first shop opened in 1930. In 1932 the Frenchexpedition house built...
dog drivers, and had as its object a general geological survey of the region north of Scoresby Sund(70°15 N). This was the...
1929 Cambridge East Greenland Expedition, led by James Mann WordieWordie’s nine-man expedition had two prime aims, the asc...
In 1929 Nanok sent up 10 hunters with the ship BIRGILD, accompanied by Jennov and RichardBøgvad, but due to poor ice condi...
Henry Rudi remained in East Greenland as a member of Nordøstgrønlands Slædepatrulje.    All hunting stations and huts had ...
the first time and Gerard de Geer Gletscher discovered, and from the south end of Kjerulf Fjord a newroute to Hisinger Gle...
margin of the Inland Ice, and was published in 1932 at a scale of 1:1 million. A new house (Kulhus) wasbuilt during the su...
undertake aerial photography. Geological, archaeological, botanical and zoological studies were alsoprominent, and in 1933...
arctic scenery. For the 1933 voyage VESLEKARI had been fitted with an echo sounder, and profiles weresuccessfully made in ...
1935 Anglo-Danish expedition to East GreenlandAugustine Courtauld and Lawrence R. Wager joined forces in 1935 for a summer...
overwintered at four stations.   1938 – GODTHAAB was expedition ship, and carried one additional geological party to Green...
Koch during the 1906–08 Danmark expedition, by Lauge Koch in 1933 and Peter Freuchen in 1935.Another alleged sighting of w...
Fjord. Eigil Knuth reached as far as Antarctic Bugt, but also explored part of Skærfjorden and theNorske Øer. Svend Sølver...
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland
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2005 01 exploration-history_east_greenland

  1. 1. Exploration history of East Greenland 69°–82°NPRE-1918c. 4300 BC – 1823 PaleoeskimosAbout 6300 years ago, long before European whalers and explorers set foot on the east coast ofGreenland, the entire region had been settled by paleoeskimos. The Independence I culture had spreadfrom Ellesmere Island (Canada) across North Greenland and down the east coast as far as ScoresbySund (70°N). A thousand years later a new wave of paleoeskimos, the Independence II culture, retracedtheir predecessors footsteps. Both phases of paleoeskimo expansion coincided with climatic optima, andboth cultures depended for their existence on muskox, hares, birds and fish; their tent rings are widelydistributed along the coasts of East Greenland. About 1100 AD another wave of paleoeskimos, the Thule culture, reached East Greenland, also viaNorth Greenland. They were whale-hunters and possessed skin boats (kayaks and umiaks). Theirmeeting with another group of eskimos which had spread around South Greenland and up along the eastcoast produced the so-called North Greenland mixed culture, which thrived in northern East Greenlanduntil the 1700s. Climatic changes subsequently caused a dramatic population decline, and the lastremnants of this population north of 69°N latitude may have been the group of 12 encountered byDouglas Clavering at Clavering Ø (74°15 N) in 1823. Ruins of their stone and turf winter houses, andtheir summer tent rings, are common throughout northern East Greenland.c.1000–1250 Viking voyagesThe Icelandic sagas include accounts of a number of voyages to Greenland, although most of the placenames recorded have usually been identified with locations in South or West Greenland. Some nameshave appeared in a variety of positions on old charts which were based partly on interpretations of thesagas . The Icelandic Annals refer to the discovery in 1194 of Svalbardr, or Svalbarda í Hafsbotn, the“country of the cold coasts”, which some authorities identify with the Scoresby Sund region (70°–72°N)of East Greenland, and others with Jan Mayen or Spitzbergen. Svalbard is today the official name of thegroup of islands including Spitzbergen which were placed under the sovereignty of Norway by theTreaty of Paris. Direct evidence of a Viking presence in East Greenland north of latitude 69°N is limited to finds ineskimo graves at Scoresbysund of silver buttons and beads and of an ornamented bone comb; these havebeen taken to indicate some contacts between the Vikings and the former eskimo population.1607 Henry Hudson’s voyageIn 1607 Henry Hudson was sent out by the Muscovy Company with a crew of 11 in the HOPE-WELL toseek a passage to Japan and China across the North Pole. He sighted the coast of East Greenland onseveral occasions between latitudes 68°N and 74°N, and on June 22nd 1607 lay off Hold with Hope(73°30 N). The only account of his observations records – “It was a mayne high land, nothing at allcovered with snow: and the North part of that mayne high Land was very high Mountaynes....weethought good to name it, Hold with hope, lying in 73. degrees of latitude”. Hold with Hope is the oldest place name currently in use in East Greenland. While Hudson failed inthe main purpose of his voyage, his accounts of the abundant whales in the waters near Spitzbergen ledto the development of the northern whale-fishery.c. 1614 – c. 1910 Northern whale-fisheryUntil the pioneer charting of the coast of East Greenland by William Scoresby in 1822, the onlyinformation on the region north of latitude 69°N came from the chance sightings of whalers. Britishwhalers began to sail to Spitzbergen waters in 1608, and as a result of their success were joined in 1612by Dutch whalers, and subsequently by French, Spanish, Danish and other nations. Whales becamescarce in the bays of Spitzbergen after 1630, leading to a temporary decline in British whaling. After1720 whales had left Spitzbergen waters and were then sought along the edge of the pack ice. Revival of 1© A.K. Higgins
  2. 2. British whaling about 1750 was linked to the introduction of a government bounty. Fluctuations inwhaling returns, especially in the British trade, were influenced by variations in the bounty (whichlasted until 1824), the attacks of hostile privateers (Britain was often at war with France, and in 1814 atwar with France, Denmark and the USA), the weather conditions and whale migrations. In view of thenumbers of whalers engaged in the fishery, there were probably numerous sightings of the Greenlandcoast, but records are few. No deliberate attempts were apparently made to penetrate the ice belt before1822, the general opinion among whalers up to about 1818 being that the land was inaccessible. A note on an Italian map of 1690 by Coronelli records that the Dutch sighted the coast of EastGreenland at about 79°N in 1614, that Broer Ruys reached land at c. 73°N in 1654, and that GaelHamkes Land was found in 1654. A collection of Dutch charts, “De groote nieuwe Zee-Atlas doorGerrit van Keulen” from 1706, includes a chart recording the discovery of t’land v. Broer Ruys in 1655at 73°30 N, t’bay v. Gale Hamkes in 1654 at 74°N, t’land v. Adam in 1655 at 77°NN and t’land v.Lambert in 1670 at 78°30 N. Nearly all these names were preserved by subsequent explorers, and werelater approved in Danified form. In 1761 a Danish whaler, Volquaart Boon, aboard a Dutch or German ship, followed the coast from76°30 –68°40 N, and at about latitude 70°20 N was dragged by a strong current into a wide and deepfjord, the present Scoresby Sund. Other whalers known to have sighted the coast, usually reported asGale Hamkes Land, include DIE FRAU MARIA ELISABETH in 1769, DE SANKT PETER in 1773 andWILLEMINA in 1777. In 1798 British cruisers had captured the Dutch whaling fleet, and by the early 1800s the northernwhale fishery was largely in British hands. A series of prosperous whaling years lasted until about 1826,although with a progressive shift in interest from the Greenland Sea to the Davis Strait (offshore WestGreenland). William Scoresby Senior and his son had notable success in East Greenland waters, andtheir search for the declining whales led to attempts to penetrate the pack ice. William Scoresby Juniorsighted land at 74°N in 1817, and in 1821 observed the coast from 74°30 to 73°30 N. His father alsofollowed the coast in 1821 from 74° to 70°N. However, all these observations were from a greatdistance, and it was only in 1822 that William Scoresby Junior came close enough to the coast toconstruct a chart (see below). Other whale fishers also approached the coast and good catches weremade. From about the 1750s whalers had begun to take seals in increasing numbers. Hamburg and Altonaships are recorded to have taken 50–60,000 seals in the Greenland Sea in 1787. As whaling declined,sealing gained in importance, and Scottish ships began intensive sealing in 1831, and were joined in1847 by Norwegian sealers who subsequently dominated the trade (see below). Whaling in East Greenland waters was maintained largely due to the enterprise of a few notablewhaling skippers. Following the retirement of the Scoresbys’ after 1822, members of the Gray family ofPeterhead were most celebrated, with their equally notable ships, ACTIVE, ECLIPSE and HOPE. Theywere among the few to make paying voyages to the Greenland Sea in the 1870s, and the Peterheadfishery ceased with the retirement of David Gray in 1891. Tom Robertson was among the last to seekwhales off East Greenland, and made regular voyages from 1895 until 1907 with ACTIVE and BALAENAwith moderate success, and occasionally reached land. In 1899 he assisted A. G. Nathorst’s expedition,and took home 10 muskox. The effective end of the Greenland whale fishery is placed at about 1910.1822 William Scoresby’s whaling voyageWilliam Scoresby Junior and his father were important figures in the history of arctic whaling, but werealso natural scientists, and even while engaged in the search for whales concerned themselves withscientific observations of all kinds. One major result of Scoresby Junior’s whaling career was hiscelebrated “An account of the Arctic regions” (published 1820), and another the journal of his 1822voyage which brought back for the first time anything approaching accurate information on the coastalregion of East Greenland (published 1823). Between June and August 1822 Scoresby in the BAFFIN was on numerous occasions close to land,sometimes in company with his father in the FAME, sometimes with other whalers – up to 20 or 30whalers were at times reported in sight. Scoresby succeeded in laying down a chart of the EastGreenland coast between latitudes 69°–75°N, the original of which is now in Whitby Museum. Themost accurate portion is that from 70°–72°30 N, where landings were made at Kap Lister, Neill Klinter, 2© A.K. Higgins
  3. 3. Kap Brewster and Kap Moorsom, the first recorded by European visitors; areas farther north wereobserved from a great distance. Scoresby recorded geological, botanical and zoological observations.Scoresby Sund received its name after William Scoresby Senior, and Hurry Inlet was explored. One ofthe most important results of Scoresby’s survey was a correction of the serious errors of longitudes onearlier charts, which had placed the coast of East Greenland between 7° and 14° too far to the east.Scoresby’s charts were sufficiently accurate that subsequent explorers have had little difficulty inrecognising the features he laid down, and nearly all of Scoresby’s 80 place names have survived.However, a few earlier Dutch names were misplaced by Scoresby, and some of his capes subsequentlyproved to be mountains standing well back from the coast. The majority of Scoresby’s place nameswere given after his friends, notably including a number of scientists who had encouraged his scientificinterests.1823 Voyage of Douglas Clavering and Edward Sabine in the GRIPERThe British Board of Longitude decided that Edward Sabine’s pendulum observations should becontinued to the most northerly latitude possible, and appointed Douglas Clavering as captain of theGRIPER for a voyage to Spitzbergen and Greenland in 1823. After completion of observations inSpitzbergen, course was set for Greenland. An attempt to penetrate the ice belt at 77°N latitude failed,and the coast was eventually reached at about 74°N. An observatory was set up on Sabine Ø (74°35 N) on August 13th, and the pendulum experimentssuccessfully completed. Meanwhile a boat journey was made by Douglas Clavering to the presentClavering Ø (74°15 N), where the only recorded meeting with the last remnants of the North Greenlandmixed culture eskimos was made on 16th–19th and 23rd–24th August 1823. Clavering also exploredand named Loch Fyne (73°45 N). In the course of the voyage Clavering, with his midshipman Henry Foster, surveyed the coastbetween 72°30 N–74°N, joining up their charts with the 1822 observations of William Scoresby. All ofClavering’s 18 names have survived. Most were given for Scottish localities and friends, while theisland group on which the pendulum experiments were carried out is commemorated as the PendulumØer.1831 Albert Haake and the BREMENAlbert Haake sailing on the BREMEN was reported to have made a landing in East Greenland at about74°N in July 1831, and reported a broad strip of ice-free water along the coast.1833 Jules de Blosseville and LA LILLOISEJules de Blosseville was a French naval officer who in 1833 had command of the brig LA LILLOISE, andthe task of maintaining order among the whalers and fishing vessels around Iceland. On July 29th hesighted the coast of East Greenland between 68°-69°30 N which now bears the name Blosseville Kyst.He returned to Iceland to dispatch a report and sketch-map of his discoveries, and on August 5th set sailagain to continue his observations, but vanished without trace with his crew of 80. His sketch mapincluded a number of names, mostly given for ministerial officials, and while exact identification of hisnamed features was often not possible, Georg Carl Amdrup’s 1898–1900 expedition preserved many ofthem. Only four were given for features north of latitude 69°N, of which two names survive on modernmaps – Rigny Bjerg and D’Aunay Bugt.1847–1959 Norwegian fishing and hunting voyagesNorwegian sealers made their first appearance in the Greenland Sea in 1847, and within a few yearsattained a dominance of the trade. Sealing reached its height in the 1850s, in one season 40 ships taking400,000 seals. Norwegian landings on the coast of East Greenland can be dated back to 1889, a poorsealing season, when HEKLA captained by Ragnvald Knudsen visited the coast between 73°30 N–75°30 N. HEKLA returned home with a substantial catch of more than 2700 seal, 267 walrus, nine bearand 24 muskox. In subsequent years Norwegian sealers periodically followed HEKLAs example, visitingthe coastal waters to supplement their catch of seal. It is on record that 142 visits to the coast were madeby Norwegian ships between 1889 and 1931, numbering usually one to four each year, but with eight in1900. Catches were sometimes notably large, that of ASPØ in 1898 including 66 bear, those of 3© A.K. Higgins
  4. 4. SØSTRENE and SPIDSBERGEN in 1899 including 79 and 69 muskox respectively, and the first two livemuskox calves, while SPIDSBERGEN in 1901 took 46 walrus. In 1908–09 the first Norwegianoverwintering expedition was led by Severin Liavaag, followed in 1909–10 by Vebjørn Landmark’sexpedition. Norwegian ships made something of a speciality of bringing live muskox to Europe for saleto zoos, and it is said a total of 290 muskox were brought back between 1899 and 1969. After the signing of the Danish-Norwegian treaty on East Greenland in 1924 (ØstgrønlandsTraktaten, see below), a succession of Norwegian and Danish fox-hunting expeditions wintered in EastGreenland, some state-supported while many others were private initiatives. Many are briefly describedindividually below. In 1946 Norwegian hunting was resumed under the auspices of Arktisk Næringsdrift and HermannAndresen (see also below). By 1959 hunting had virtually ceased following withdrawal of statesubsidies and falling skin prices. As a consequence of reduced Norwegian activity, and other factors,Denmark availed itself of the termination clause in the Danish-Norwegian treaty, which expired on July9th 1967.1869–70 Die zweite deutsche Nordpolarfahrt, led by Karl KoldeweyThis expedition was organised on the initiative of the noted German geographer August Petermann, whohad suggested an attempt be made to reach the North Pole along the coast of Greenland or Spitzbergen.A reconnaissance expedition led by Karl Koldewey in the GRØNLAND was sent out in 1868, but failedto penetrate the pack ice off East Greenland, and eventually reached Spitzbergen. Based on thisexperience a larger scale expedition was organised, and in June 1869 the steamer GERMANIA, especiallybuilt for the voyage, together with the schooner HANSA, set out for East Greenland. GERMANIA reachedland at 74°N latitude, but HANSA was crushed in the ice and sank off the coast of Liverpool Land, thecrew drifting on an ice floe down the coast eventually reaching land near the eskimo settlements in WestGreenland. GERMANIA was captained by Karl Koldewey, and the officers included the Austrian lieutenant JuliusPayer, Ralph Copeland as surveyor, Carl Börgen as meteorologist and Adolph Pansch as surgeon. Afterattempts to penetrate along the coast with the ship failed, GERMANIA anchored in Germania Havn(74°32 N) where it over-wintered. In autumn 1869 sledge journeys were made to Fligely Fjord, Kuhn Ø,Clavering Ø and Tyrolerfjord (74°–75°N). In spring 1870 an attempt was made to penetrate northwardsalong the unknown coast with two sledges and 10 men, and reached just beyond 77°N latitude. Furthersledge journeys were made to Ardencaple Fjord, Shannon and Clavering Ø. In summer 1870 attempts were made to press northwards with GERMANIA, but without success, andthe expedition turned southwards to discover and partially explore Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord (73°15 N).A peak adjacent to Payer Tinde was climbed, from the top of which Petermann Bjerg was sighted farinland to the west. Although the expedition failed to reach the North Pole or to demonstrate a practicalroute, it made important geographical discoveries and mapped large parts of the coastal region of EastGreenland between 73°–77°N. Important meteorological, geological, botanical and zoologicalobservations were made. This expedition was the first to report muskox in East Greenland. The detailed maps of the expedition record about 125 new place names, nearly all of which surviveon modern maps. The names proposed were evidently the work of a committee and incorporate manysuggestions of August Petermann. Most were given for prominent German scientists, the scientists andofficers of the ships, and colleagues who had assisted or promoted the expedition. Others were givenduring the expedition and commemorate incidents (e.g. Stormbugt), or the appearance of features (e.g.Eiger, Tyrolerfjord, Teufelkap).1879 Orlogskonnerten INGOLF Ekspedition i DanmarksstrædetThe Danish schooner INGOLF captained by A. Mourier was dispatched in 1879 to undertakehydrographical observations in Danmark Strait. It came sufficiently close to the coast to sketch manyfeatures between 65°–69°N. These included a more accurate placing of Blosseville’s Mont Rigny (RignyBjerg).1891–92 Den østgrønlandske Expedition, led by Carl RyderLieutenant Carl Ryder was appointed leader of an 11-man government-sponsored expedition to East 4© A.K. Higgins
  5. 5. Greenland, which sailed from Copenhagen in early June 1891 aboard the Norwegian sealer HEKLA,captained by Ragnvald Knudsen. A direct route through the ice pack to Scoresby Sund provedimpractical, and a detour was made to the north, the coast being reached in the vicinity of Hold withHope (73°40 N) on July 20th, and the mouth of Scoresby Sund (70°20 N) on July 31st. After entering Scoresby Sund, a visit was made to Kap Stewart, the site originally planned for thewintering station, but this proved not to be suitable. From a vantage point on Neill Klinter it wasobserved that Hurry Inlet was not a channel as depicted by William Scoresby in 1822, but a closed fjord.Sailing westwards into the unknown inner reaches of Scoresby Sund, a small enclosed harbour (HeklaHavn) was discovered on Danmark Ø, and became the winter harbour for the expedition and ship. From Hekla Havn journeys were made by motor boat into Gåsefjord, Føhnfjord, Rødefjord andNordvestfjord (the first explorations by Europeans), as well as along the coast of Jameson Land. In spring 1892 several sledge journeys were made. The first revisited Fønfjord and Rødefjord, anddiscovered Rypefjord and Harefjord. The second penetrated to the inner parts of Vestfjord.Subsequently journeys were also made to Sydbræ and the inner parts of Gåsefjord. In August 1892 HEKLA left Hekla Havn, with a stop being made at Kap Stewart where a depot house(Ryders Depot) was constructed. HEKLA then sailed via Iceland to Ammassalik, and after a short visitreturned to Copenhagen. In addition to exploration and mapping of the inner ramifications of the Scoresby Sund fjord system,significant botanical, zoological and geological observations were made. About 50 new place names arerecorded, nearly all of which were given for natural features, incidents and the animal life of the region1899 Swedish East Greenland Expedition, led by Alfred Gabriel NathorstA. G. Nathorst led two Arctic expeditions in search of traces of Andreé’s balloon expedition. The firstin 1898 was to Spitzbergen, and the second in 1899 to East Greenland. The 1899 expedition left Stockholm in May aboard ANTARCTIC, met difficult ice conditions, andreached land at Scoresby Sund (70°20 N) where the head of Hurry Inlet was visited. When iceconditions improved ANTARCTIC sailed north to the mouth of Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord (73°10 N), andfollowed the entire length of the fjord reaching the inner end for the first time and exploring KjerulfFjord. The connection with Kong Oscar Fjord via Antartcic Sund was discovered, and the network ofinterconnecting fjords and islands explored. Nathorst chose the mapping of these new territories as moreimportant than other scientific investigations. Surveying was largely undertaken by Per Dusén with theassistance of F. Åkerblom. About 94 new names appeared on the published maps, many of them givenfor supporters of the expedition, for expedition members, and notably for members of Nathorst’s ownfamily.1900 Carlsbergfondets Expedition til Øst-Grønland, led by Georg Carl AmdrupThis was a three-year expedition, but the work of the first two years (1898–1899) was entirely in theAmassalik region (65°–66°N), and it was only in 1900 that it turned its attention to surveying andexploration of the almost unknown coast extending northwards to Scoresby Sund. ANTARCTIC left Copenhagen in mid-June 1900 with an 11-man expedition led by G. C. Amdrup,which reached the coast of East Greenland at Lille Pendulum (74°40 N). Turning southwards theexpedition reached Kap Dalton (69°25 N) on July 18th and there divided into two parties. After building a depot house at Kap Dalton, Amdrup set off southwards with a crew of three in an18-foot open boat along the virtually unknown Blosseville Kyst. Ice conditions were more favourablethan expected, and the expedition succeeded in making a rough chart of the coast down to Agga Ø(67°22 N). Ammassalik was reached on September 2nd. Meanwhile, ANTARCTIC with the remainder of the expedition under the leadership of Nikolaj Hartzexplored the islands and fjords north of Kap Dalton, finding hot springs, and running aground in TurnerSund. Entering Scoresby Sund, ANTARCTIC sailed to the head of Hurry Inlet where zoological andgeological excursions were made inland, and Carlsberg Fjord was discovered. Kap Brewster was visitedbefore ANTARCTIC sailed north along the outer coast of Liverpool Land making several landings andcharting further new fjords and valleys. Entering Kong Oscar Fjord (72°10 N) an excursion was madeinto the inner end of Forsblad Fjord mapped the previous year by A. G. Nathorst (see above). The shipthen left the coast for Iceland, prior to fetching Amdrup’s party at Ammassalik. 5© A.K. Higgins
  6. 6. 1900 Swedish zoological expedition, led by Gustav KolthoffGustav Kolthoff led a zoological expedition to Spitzbergen and East Greenland aboard FRITHJOF in1900. The expedition reached land at Mackenzie Bugt (73°25 N) on July 31st, sailed north to thePendulumøer where post was deposited on Hvalrosø, and then into Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord andMoskusoksefjord where two muskox calves were captured. A large collection of birds and animals wastaken home, including two wolves.1901 Baldwin-Ziegler depot-laying voyage by the BELGICATo support the possible line of retreat of the Baldwin-Ziegler expedition which was to make an attempton the North Pole from Franz Joseph Land, depots were laid out by the BELGICA in specially built hutson southern Shannon at Kap Phillip Broke and on Bass Rock. The depots were visited and checked byMAGDALENA in 1905 in connection with the relief of the Ziegler Polar Expedition 1903–05.Subsequently the huts were used by Norwegian and Danish hunters.1905 Expédition Arctique du Duc D’OrléansThis expedition aboard the BELGICA was led by Philippe Duc d’Orléans, with Adrien de Gerlache ascaptain. After visiting the west coast of Spitzbergen BELGICA sailed for East Greenland, and off thecoast near Kap Bismarck (76°42 N) met the Norwegian sealer SØSTRENE which had reached latitude77°N and reported ice conditions to be the best its captain had known in 30 years. Thus encouragedBELGICA pressed northwards along the coast, touching land at 77°35 N, and had reached 78°16 N whenstopped by unbroken winter ice. Landings were made at several places, and a rough chart made of newlydiscovered land areas between 77°–78°50 N. Oceanographic, meteorological, geological and botanicalobservations were also made during the voyage. The Duc d’Orléans included 28 new names on his charts, given mainly for members of the Orléansfamily, for notable French and Belgian explorers, and for officers of the ship’s company. He notes withregret that some of the names on his original chart were modified at the request of the Danishauthorities. Thus, his original name Terre de France was changed to Terre de Duc d’Orléans, thepresent Hertugen af Orléans Land. The 1906–08 Danmark expedition (see below) had received a copy of the Orléans chart, and in thecourse of their explorations remapped the area in considerably more detail. They record the difficulty ofcorrectly locating the features seen and named by the Duc d’Orléans, and while preserving as many ofthe original names as possible admit that some positions may be incorrect. Nevertheless, it is thesepositions that have survived on modern charts.1906–08 Danmark-Ekspeditionen til Grønlands NordøstkystThis was one of the largest and most ambitious of early Danish expeditions, whose aims were to exploreand survey the large unknown region between Kap Bismarck (76°42 N) and eastern Peary Land(82°30 N), and link up with the explorations of Robert E. Peary in North Greenland. The expeditionnumbered 28, including scientists, ship’s crew and three Greenlanders, and was led by LudvigMylius-Erichsen. The expedition sailed from Copenhagen on June 24th 1906 aboard DANMARK, met difficult iceconditions, and reached the coast of East Greenland at Store Koldewey (76°30 N) on August 13th. Aftersailing north along the coast to Île de France, DANMARK turned south again to Danmark Havn (76°46 N)which was to become the expedition base for the next two years. During the course of the expedition nearly 200 short and long journeys were made by sledge, boat oron foot. Many of these were made during exploration of the islands and fjords around Dove Bugt southof Danmark Havn. A meteorological station set up west of Danmark Havn at Pustervig was manned fora long period by Peter Freuchen. Two journeys were made across the glacier Storstrømmen, one viaSælsøen to Dronning Louise Land, and the second via Annekssø to Ymer Nunatak. Two long journeyswere also made southwards along the coast to check the depots at Bass Rock (74°43 N), and depositpost. Four depot-laying journeys were made northwards in the winter of 1906–07 in preparation for themain spring sledge journeys. On March 28th 1907 a start was made from Danmark Havn with four 6© A.K. Higgins
  7. 7. parties, in all 10 men and 86 dogs. Two of the parties turned back from 80°30 N, surveying on the wayand reaching the ship again in late April. At Nakkehoved the two other parties, led by LudvigMylius-Erichsen and J.P. Koch respectively, parted company. Koch’s party went northwards along the east coast of Peary Land as far as Kap Bridgman, retrievingPeary’s record at Kap Clarence Wyckhoff on the way. Returning southwards they metMylius-Erichsen’s party unexpectedly on May 27th, and then retraced their outward steps to reachDanmark Havn on June 23rd 1907. Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen, Niels Peter Høeg-Hagen and Jørgen Brønlund travelled westwards toexplore Independence Fjord and Danmark Fjord, and were forced by open water to spend the summer of1907 on the west shore of Danmark Fjord (81°N), where they and their dogs suffered badly due to poorhunting. They began their return journey in mid-October, but Mylius-Erichsen and Høeg-Hagen diednear Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden (79°33 N), while Brønlund reached the east point of Lambert Land(79°12 N) before he also died. Two relief parties were sent out to look for the missing party, the first in autumn 1907, and thesecond in March 1908 which found Brønlund’s body and diary. The bodies of Mylius-Erichsen andHøeg-Hagen have never been found, and the precise route followed by the retreating party fromDanmark Fjord to Lambert Land has remained a lasting topic of speculation. The expedition sailed backto Denmark in August 1908.1908–09 FLOREN expedition, led by Severin LiavaagA seven-man expedition in the FLOREN was sent out from the Sunnmøre district of Norway on theinitiative of Severin Liavaag and the Ålesund merchant Hans Koppernes, and became the firstNorwegian hunting expedition to overwinter in East Greenland. The FLOREN anchored in GermaniaHavn (74°32 N), and two huts were built nearby, at Kap Wynn and Kap Borlase Warren. In the winterhunting was carried out between Kap Herschel and Germania Havn, and in the summer as far north asShannon (75°10 N). Two men were drowned, including Liavaag, when they fell through the ice in May1909 during a bear hunt. The only original published account of the expedition is a diary by Brandal.1909 Expédition Arctique du Duc D’OrléansThe Duc d’Orléans, aboard the BELGICA captained by Adrien de Gerlache as in 1905, made a voyage toEast Greenland, Spitzbergen and Franz Josef Land in 1909. In East Greenland ice conditions restrictedmovements to the area between Hold with Hope and Shannon (73°30 –75°30 N), where they met thesurviving members of the 1908–09 Floren expedition.1909–10 Vebjørn Landmark’s expeditionA six-man Norwegian hunting expedition led by Vebjørn Landmark was sent out in 7DE JUNI on theinitiative of S.Th. Sverre of Kristiania (Oslo). A hunting station was built at Kap Mary (74°10 N), and asmaller house in Germania Havn (74°32 N). Hunting was carried out between Clavering Ø and thePendulum Øer in the winter, and between Jackson Ø and Shannon in the summer. It was this expeditionwhich picked up five members of the 1909–12 Alabama expedition from Bass Rock in 1910.1909–12 Alabama-Expeditionen til Grønlands Nordøstkyst, led by Ejnar MikkelsenThis seven-man expedition was organised and led by Ejnar Mikkelsen, and had as its main aim therecovery of the lost diaries and journals of Mylius-Erichsen and Høeg-Hagen, who had died with JørgenBrønlund during the 1906–08 Danmark expedition. After a very difficult passage through the pack iceaboard the ALABAMA, the expedition was forced into winter harbour at Kap Sussi on the east coast ofShannon (75°19 N). At the end of September 1909 a sledge journey was made northwards to Lambert Land (79°12 N),where Jørgen Brønlund’s body had been found in 1908, but no significant new documents were foundon the body, and no traces of Mylius-Erichsen and Høeg-Hagen were found. In March 1910 a five-man sledge party embarked on a long sledge journey northwards, crossingDove Bugt and ascending onto the Inland Ice via the glacier Storstrømmen. Three men then explorednorthernmost Dronning Louise Land (77°N) before returning to ALABAMA, while Mikkelsen and Iver P.Iversen continued northwards along the Inland Ice to the head of Danmark Fjord (80°30 N). From here 7© A.K. Higgins
  8. 8. they attempted to retrace Mylius-Erichsen’s route and located two cairn reports. Returning home alongthe outer coast of Kronprins Christian Land the two men met great difficulties, suffered from illness andhunger, and at one point abandoned their equipment and even their diaries to make a dash for DanmarkHavn, where they arrived on September 18th. After a failed attempt to reach their abandoned equipment,they retreated southwards, only to find on reaching Shannon on November 25th that the ALABAMA hadsunk. A house had been built on shore, but there was no sign of their five companions who had left forNorway aboard 7DE JUNI in early August. In spring 1911 Mikkelsen and Iversen made a sledge trip northwards to recover their diaries, but itwas not until the summer of 1912 that the two men were picked up from Bass Rock by the Norwegiansealer SJØBLOMSTEN.1912–13 Den danske Ekspedition til Dronning Louises Land og tværsover NordgrønlandsInlandsis, led by Johan Peter KochJ.P. Koch and Alfred Wegener, both of whom had been members of the 1906–08 Danmark expedition,organised a four-man expedition whose principal aims were to study meteorological and glacialconditions at the margin of the Inland Ice. A traverse of the main ice cap of Iceland with their Icelandic ponies was made, after which theexpedition was transported to Greenland aboard GODTHAAB on loan from the Danish government,arriving at Danmark Havn (76°46 N) on July 23rd 1912. Equipment unloaded at Danmark Havn andStormkap included a motorboat, 16 Icelandic ponies, 20 tons of pony food and a wintering house. During the summer the expedition goods were transported overland and by motorboat, around andacross Dove Bugt as far as Kap Stop, where further progress was halted until the fjord froze over in theautumn. Equipment was then sledged to the front of Bredebræ, and about halfway across the glaciertowards Dronning Louise Land, at which point the winter house Borg was erected. Koch fell into acrevasse on November 5th and broke a leg, but this healed well during the winter. In the spring of 1913 the journey was resumed with the remaining five ponies. Dronning LouiseLand was traversed from east to west via Borgjøkelen, Farigmagsdalen and Kursbræ, and several peaksincluding Dronningestolen and Kaldbakur were climbed. On May 8th the last nunatak was left behindand the crossing of the Inland Ice began, the west coast of Greenland being reached north-east of Prøvenon July 4th.1919–19391919–24 A/S Østgrønlandsk KompagniØstgrønlandsk Kompagni was a Danish hunting company founded in February 1919 on the initiative offormer members of the 1906–08 Danmark expedition. It was based on private capital, with some stateassistance, but poor hunting and the loss of two ships in the ice led to its closure in 1924. The first group of 10 hunters sailed in 1919 aboard the DAGNY to the Danmark Havn region(76°46 N), and established hunting stations at Danmark Havn (Danmarkshavn) and Hvalrosodden, withanother farther south at Germania Havn (74°32 N). The company eventually had 14 stations and hutsbetween Kap Broer Ruys in the south and Hvalrosodden in the north, including two taken over from the1901 Baldwin-Ziegler expedition, and Alabamahus on Shannon built by the 1909–12 Alabamaexpedition. In August 1920 the DAGNY was crushed in the ice off Shannon, before it could reach the northernstations. The crew over-wintered, but two died before the rescue ship TEDDY arrived in 1921. One ofthe hunters, John Tutein, was killed by a bear in February 1921. TEDDY supplied the hunting stations in1921, and also in 1922 and 1923. On the way home in 1923, a bad ice year, TEDDY was crushed in theice, but the 21 crew and hunters eventually reached land in the Ammassalik region, and were picked upby the QUEST in 1924. GODTHAAB subsequently rescued the remaining hunters stranded on the coast.After these losses the company suspended operations. The total catch of the company’s hunters from1919–24 is recorded as 679 fox and 117 bear.1924–25 Foundation of Ittoqqortoormiit / ScoresbysundHarald Olrik had proposed the foundation of a settlement in the unpopulated tracts of Scoresby Sund 8© A.K. Higgins
  9. 9. (70°–71°N) in 1911. The project was brought to fruition in 1924 due to the interest and influence ofEjnar Mikkelsen. The “Scoresbysund-Komiteen” was founded on March 24th 1924 with EjnarMikkelsen as chairman, a post he was to hold for 40 years. An appeal to the Danish public wasimmediately successful thanks to the support of Valdemar Galster, editor of the Ferslew Press, and HansNiels Andersen of the Østasiatisk Kompagni purchased a ship for the expedition. GRØNLAND (formerly FOX II) left Copenhagen on July 10th laden with building materials andprovisions, made an easy passage of the ice belt and arrived off the mouth of Scoresby Sund on July24th. At Fox Pynt near Kap Tobin the ship was caught in the ice and lost its rudder, an incident whichled to immediate selection of a site nearby for the settlement without the planned preliminaryreconnaissance. Materials were unloaded at Ferslew Pynt, and GRØNLAND returned home leavingbehind a wintering party of seven, including three carpenteers and three scientists. One of the latter, thegeologist Bjerring Pedersen, died in July 1925, apparently of scurvy. A large house was built at the present Scoresbysund (the name of the settlement is spelt in one wordas ‘Scoresbysund’, to distinguish it from the fjord known as Scoresby Sund) to house the future colonymanager and priest, while houses were built at Kap Stewart, Kap Hope and Kap Tobin for theGreenlander hunters and their families. About 85 Greenlanders/Inuit arrived in 1925, the nucleus of what was to be a successful settlement(see also below).1924–67 Østgrønlands TraktatenThe Danish-Norwegian treaty on East Greenland (Østgrønlands Traktaten) which came into effect inJuly 1924 gave both countries the right to engage in hunting, fishing and scientific activities in theuninhabited parts of East Greenland, including the operation of meteorological stations. However, noagreement was reached concerning sovereignty. The provisions of the treaty were exploited by bothnations. Denmark founded the new colony of Ittoqqortoormiit / Scoresbysund, specifically allowed forby the treaty, and both Norway and Denmark developed hunting activities; Norway opened a radio andweather station at Myggbukta. Danish scientific activities were initiated by Lauge Koch in 1926, withthe first of a succession of mainly geological expeditions under his leadership which continued until1958. Norway also embarked on scientific explorations, the NSIU expeditions of 1929–33, but thesewere suspended when the dispute over the sovereignty of East Greenland was determined in Denmark’sfavour in April 1933. The treaty was to have lasted for 20 years, after which it could be terminated with two years notice.After the 1939–45 war, in which both Danish and Norwegian hunters had cooperated as members ofNordøstgrønlands Slædepatrulje, the treaty was extended. It was finally suspended on July 9th 1967,some years after the cessation of hunting activities.1925+ Scoresbysund / IttoqqortoormiitThe first party of Greenlanders / Inuit, about 70 from Ammassalik and 15 from West Greenland, arrivedwith GUSTAV HOLM (formerly GRØNLAND), on September 1st 1925. Different accounts give variousfigures for the actual number of settlers. The first colony manager was Johan Petersen, former managerof the Ammassalik colony for 30 years. The first few weeks were made difficult by an influenzaepidemic, picked up when the ship called at Iceland. By the end of the first year, however, 10 huntershad achieved a catch of 12 narwhale, 700–800 seal, 60 walrus, 115 bear and 71 fox, and favourablehunting subsequently has ensured the survival of the settlement. However, walrus were reported as rareafter 1926. In 1926 the colony was reinforced by a family of 10 from West Greenland, and in 1935 by afurther 35 Greenlanders from Ammassalik. The Greenlanders lived at first in the villages of Kap Stewart, Kap Tobin and Kap Hope, near thebest hunting grounds. A tendency for a concentration of the population at Scoresbysund was laterreported, allegedly due to the influence of the priest. Kap Stewart proved liable to heavy snow, and wasabandoned for long periods. In the 1940s a new settlement was established near Kap Brewster on thesouth side of Scoresby Sund. Hunters also spent long periods at Sydkap in 1934–35, and houses werebuilt there in 1946; however, this site has only periodically been occupied. Hunting huts have been builtin several areas, including Hurry Inlet, the coast of Jameson Land and the east coast of Liverpool Land. In 1927–28 Scoresbysund was expanded with the addition of a church, and 10 houses. A radio 9© A.K. Higgins
  10. 10. station was established by Janus Sørensen in 1927. The first shop opened in 1930. In 1932 the Frenchexpedition house built for the 1932–33 International Polar Year was taken over, and used first as thetelegraphist’s house, and later as a hospital. A new hospital was built in 1957. During the war American forces operated a weather station manned by 20–30 men in Hvalrosbugtennearby. A larger ICAO weather and radio station was established at Kap Tobin just south ofScoresbysund in 1947, and closed down in 1980. The population of Scoresbysund, with the settlements at Kap Tobin and Kap Hope, was about 500 in1983. Of these 77 were licenced as full time hunters and 99 as part-time hunters. The yearly catch byregistered hunters amounts to about 6000 ringed seal, 50–70 polar bear, and smaller numbers of otherseals, narwhale and walrus. The activities of Greenpeace and Brigitte Bardot sabotaged the market forringed seal skins after 1978, and as a result bear skins have provided an increased proportion of income.Spring hunting for bears now ranges far afield, south along the Blosseville Kyst, north to Daneborg, andwestwards to Gåsefjord. The East Greenland dialect variations are used for names locally, although West Greenland dialectforms appear on official maps. Thus the East Greenland name for the town, Ittoqqortoormiit, appearson maps as Illoqqortormiut.1925–36 Campagne du POURQUOI PAS?, led by Jean-Baptiste CharcotThe French Polar explorer J.B. Charcot made numerous voyages to the Arctic in his three-mast barquePOURQUOI PAS?, of which seven visited the Scoresby Sund region. During the first visit in 1925 to thenewly founded settlement of Ittoqqortoormiut / Scoresbysund (70°29 N), a short trip was made tonearby Jameson Land. In 1926 Ejnar Mikkelsen and Ebbe Munck were guests on POURQUOI PAS? whenCharcot made a second visit to the Scoresbysund settlement. The voyages between 1931 and 1933 were mainly concerned with the French Polar Station for theInternational Polar Year 1932–33 established at Scoresbysund. Before leaving for home in 1932POURQUOI PAS? visited the Kap Leslie area of Milne Land with Lauge Koch. Charcot returned in 1933to pick up the Polar Year wintering party, the station buildings being handed over to the settlement, andhe also brought up the three-man Cambridge East Greenland Expedition which worked in the HurryInlet area. Charcot once again visited the Kap Leslie area. Charcot returned to Scoresbysund in 1934 and 1936, but on the voyage back to Europe in 1936,POURQUOI PAS? ran into a severe storm after leaving Reykjavik in Iceland and on September 15th waswrecked; only one man survived.1926 Cambridge East Greenland Expedition – led by James Mann WordieJ.M. Wordie led an eight-man expedition to East Greenland in 1926, travelling aboard the HEIMLANDcaptained by Lars Jakobsen. The expedition aims included surveying, archeology and exploration of aroute to the 2971 m high mountain of Petermann Bjerg (73°05 N) seen from a distance by KarlKoldewey’s expedition in 1870. A similar expedition in 1923 on the smaller HEIMEN had failed to reachthe coast due to very bad ice conditions. The 1926 expedition left Aberdeen on June 30th via Jan Mayen, made an easy passage of the ice beltand reached Lille Pendulum on July 12th. Pendulum experiments were made on Sabine Ø (74°35 N),repeating Sabine’s observations of 1823. During the summer, extensive surveying was carried outaround the Pendulum Øer, the west side of Clavering Ø (where Granta Fjord was discovered), Holdwith Hope and the interior of Loch Fyne (leading to the discovery of Stordal), and along the outerpoorly known coasts of Geographical Society Ø and Traill Ø. From the inner part of Kejser FranzJoseph Fjord a route to Petermann Bjerg via Ridderdal was explored, but the short time availableprohibited an attempt on the peak. HEIMLAND left the East Greenland coast on August 25th after callingbriefly at Scoresbysund. In addition to the great improvements to existing charts in the coastal region, success was achievedin correctly placing many of the features named by William Scoresby in 1822; many of his capes provedto be mountains standing well back from the coast.1926–27 Lauge Koch’s geological expeditionLauge Koch’s East Greenland expedition of 1926–27 comprised three geologists and two Greenlander 10© A.K. Higgins
  11. 11. dog drivers, and had as its object a general geological survey of the region north of Scoresby Sund(70°15 N). This was the first of a long series of geological expeditions led by Lauge Koch which wereto continue until 1958. The expedition travelled to Greenland with GUSTAV HOLM in July 1926. In August and Septembertwo geologists, Alfred Rosenkrantz and Tom Harris, worked in Jameson Land (70°50 N), while Kochorganised construction of an expedition house in Scoresbysund. In October Koch made a sledge journeynorthwards to Hold with Hope via Hurry Inlet, Kong Oscar Fjord and Sofia Sund, returning westwardaround Ymer Ø and retracing his outward track in November. Between February and June 1927 Koch made a long sledge journey to Danmark Havn (76°46 N). Onthe return journey the fjord system between 72° and 74°N was explored, and an unexpected extension ofDusén Fjord discovered. Meanwhile Rosenkrantz and Harris had continued their work in Jameson Land,and also in eastern Milne Land. The main geological results of the expedition include a geologicalreconnaissance map of the region 70°–76°N. The expedition returned to Denmark aboard GUSTAV HOLM in August 1927.1926–28 Foldvik expeditionThe Norwegian Foldvik expedition was the third to overwinter in East Greenland, but broke new groundin adapting techniques of hunting used in Spitzbergen and Jan Mayen to the larger Greenland terrains.The practice of building numerous small huts over a wide area around a central station was followed byall subsequent Norwegian hunting expeditions. The 1926–28 expedition comprised Nils Foldvik,Hallvard Devold and Fritz Øien (all telegraphists from the Geofysisk Institutt in Tromsø), who withthree other hunters travelled to Greenland in 1926 aboard RINGSEL. Two hunting stations were built, atRevet (74°22 N) and near Kap Stosch (Krogness; 74°03 N), and 17 huts in the surrounding areas.Hunting was carried out between Kap Bennet in the south and Tyrolerfjord in the north, the catchincluding 287 fox, 18 bears and seven wolves. The expedition returned to Norway aboard TERNINGENin 1928.1927–28 Den Danske Gradmåling – ScoresbysundFollowing a short visit to Scoresbysund (70°29 N) in 1926 to choose a site, Janus Sørensen returned in1927 to erect a radio station and seismic station at the settlement. Janus Sørensen made sledge journeysaround the coast of southern Liverpool Land, as a result of which a simple map was prepared. This mapincluded several new names, including Kap Høegh, named for the colony manager.1927–29 Hird expeditionThis six-man Norwegian expedition led by Jonas Karlsbak took its name from the 49-foot fishing boatHIRD which carried it to Greenland, and which sank in winter harbour in the Finsch Øer (74°N) inAugust 1927. The expedition built three hunting stations, one at Kap Herschel, another on the south-eastside of Clavering Ø (Elvsborg), and the third on Jackson Ø; in addition seven huts were erected, ofwhich five were on Wollaston Foreland. Their catch amounted to 352 fox and 42 bears. They returnedhome with VESLEKARI in 1929.1927–29 Alwin Pedersen – ScoresbysundAs a follow up of his work in 1924–25, on the expedition which had founded Scoresbysund, AlwinPedersen organised an independent expedition to continue his zoological studies. Two years were spentat Scoresbysund (70°29 N), during which he made a number of sledge journeys, one of them to theinterior of Nordvestfjord which led to the discovery of new arms of the fjord and the finding of polarbear dens. Another trip took him south of Scoresby Sund as far as Kap Dalton.1928–30 Finn Devold’s expeditionA six-man Norwegian hunting expedition led by Finn Devold sailed to East Greenland in 1928 onTERNINGEN, taking over the Foldvik expedition terrain. A larger station was built at Revet (74°22 N),and four new huts. Their catch amounted to 346 fox, 11 bear and 8 wolves. The expedition returned toNorway in 1930 with VESLEKARI. 11© A.K. Higgins
  12. 12. 1929 Cambridge East Greenland Expedition, led by James Mann WordieWordie’s nine-man expedition had two prime aims, the ascent of Petermann Bjerg (73°05 N) andgeological exploration. The HEIMLAND which had been used in 1926 was again chartered, captained byKarl Jakobsen, and departed from Aberdeen on July 2nd. However, ice conditions were severe, and thecoast of East Greenland was not reached until August 4th. From the head of Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord six of the party set off via Ridderdal for what proved tobe a successful first ascent of Petermann Bjerg, via Ptarmigan Gletscher, across Nordenskiöld Gletscherand up Disa Gletscher. The summit of Petermann Bjerg was reached via the south-west ridge on August15th. Meanwhile two of the geologists carried out regional geological studies from the ship. The survey work of the expedition, much of it carried out by R.C. Wakefield and AugustineCourtauld, was mainly around the head of Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord and Petermann Bjerg. The expedition left the Greenland coast on August 25th, again meeting difficult ice which took themfive days to clear.1929 Lauge Koch’s geological expeditionLauge Koch organised a summer expedition in 1929, financed largely by private contributions with thebalance provided by the Carlsberg Foundation and Rask-Ørsted Foundation; the ship GODTHAAB wasloaned by the Danish state. The expedition numbered 22, including the ship’s crew, four geological parties and one botanicalparty. Difficulties were experienced in penetrating the ice belt both on the way in and out. Work wasmainly carried out in the fjord region between 72°–74°N, with topographical surveying of parts ofClavering Ø, Wollaston Forland, Hudson Land and Ymer Ø.1929–33 Norges Svalbard- og Ishavs-UndersøkelserNorges Svalbard- og Ishavs-Undersøkelser (NSIU) commenced scientific activities in East Greenland in1929 on the initiative of Adolf Hoel, a move coinciding with the foundation of Arktisk Næringsdrift A/Sand the commencement of intensive land-based hunting. From 1929–31 the scientific activities were ona modest scale, and included topographical surveying, oceanographical, botanical, zoological andgeological investigations, mainly in the region between Antarctic Havn (72°N) in the south andWollaston Forland (74°15 N) in the north. Following the declaration of sovereignty over Eirik Raudes Land (71°30 –75°40 N) by Norway in1931, the pace of activities was greatly increased. A major expedition sent up in 1932 in POLARBJØRNincluded two aeroplanes to undertake aerial photography. The judgement of the Court of International Justice at The Hague in April 1933 in Denmark’s favourled to a reduction in activities. The NSIU scientific group in 1933 numbered nine, and from 1934scientific activities virtually ceased. However, NSIU continued to cooperate with Arktisk Næringsdriftin the dispatch of relief ships to serve the Norwegian hunters, as well as supplying the telegraphists atMyggbukta. The majority of place names associated with NSIU are found on the published topographic mapsheets at scales of 1:1 million, 1:200,000 and 1:100,000 topographic maps. Only a selection of the manynames used have been approved for usage on official Danish maps, largely because of the nationalisticclimate associated with the dispute over East Greenland, and an impression that the name-giving wasmore prolific than necessary. However, selections of the NSIU names subsequently appeared on the1951 USAF series of 1:250,000 aeronautical charts.1929–41 Østgrønlandsk Fangstkompagni Nanok A/SThe Danish fox-hunting company Nanok was founded in May 1929 on the basis of a plan by J.G.Jennov, following several failed attempts to revive the old Østgrønlandsk Kompagni. The capital wassecured by the support of several large Danish companies. However, hunting was often poor, and Nanokonly survived with the assistance of the Danish State which provided free transport to and fromGreenland, and the support of private funds, notably Laurits Andersens Fond, Otto Mønsteds Fond,Julius Skrikes Stiftelse, Tuborg Fondet and Kaptain Alf Trolle og Hustrus Legat. The interest in themaintainance of Danish hunting activities was largely a consequence of the challenge to Danishsovereignty of East Greenland by Norway, and the necessity of competing with Norwegian hunters. 12© A.K. Higgins
  13. 13. In 1929 Nanok sent up 10 hunters with the ship BIRGILD, accompanied by Jennov and RichardBøgvad, but due to poor ice conditions only the southern hunting stations taken over fromØstgrønlandske Kompagni were occupied. Transport to and from Greenland was subsequently largelyundertaken with GODTHAAB or GUSTAV HOLM, the two ships serving Lauge Koch’s geologicalexpeditions. Ice conditions often meant that stations in one or another area could not be reached,although J.G. Jennov blamed the failure to relieve Nanok’s stations in 1934 on Lauge Koch’sunsympathetic attitude to the Danish hunters. In 1935 GODTHAAB failed to reach the coast, but threehunters were evacuated by plane, and another four by the Norwegian sealer BUSKØ. In 1937 GUSTAVHOLM became trapped by ice in Scoresby Sund, and no stations were reached. Nanok had taken over 14 hunting stations from Østgrønlandsk Kompagni, and built many new hutsin the period 1930–32. In 1932 the GEFION was sent up to reoccupy the station at Danmark Havn, and aradio station was built at Hvalrosodden. Following a fund-raising campaign numerous huts were built in1938, and the company eventually had more than 60 huts between Kap Broer Ruys (73°32 N) in thesouth and Sælsøen (77°04 N) in the north. Operations were suspended in 1941 with the advent of war in Europe, and the hunters returnedhome, moved to West Greenland or North America, or joined Nordøstgrønlands Slædepatrulje. Huntingwas resumed in 1945.1929–42 Arktisk Næringsdrift A/SThe Norwegian fox-hunting company Arktisk Næringsdrift was founded in October 1929. FollowingHallvard Devold’s return from a private hunting expedition to East Greenland, Devold gained AdolfHoel’s interest and support in greatly expanding Norwegian hunting activities, while Hoel saw theopportunity of developing NSIU scientific investigations. Arktisk Næringsdrift began operations in1929, and had hunters in East Greenland continuously until 1942, and again from 1946 to 1959. Thecompany had variable, often substantial, financial support from the Norwegian state, and lesser amountsfrom the Norwegian Meteorological Institute on whose behalf the Myggbukta radio and weather stationwas operated from 1930. Transport of hunters to and from Greenland was undertaken by NSIU from1929–34, after which Arktisk Næringsdrift took over responsibility for ship charter of their own hunters(still in cooperation with NSIU), as well as those of private Norwegian hunting expeditions. Between 1929 and 1931 Arktisk Næringsdrift built 35 hunting huts between Vega Sund andMoskusoksefjord, and by 1938 with the other Norwegian hunting expeditions had established 130hunting huts and stations between Canning Land (71°50 N) in the south, and southern Dove Bugt in thenorth (76°35 N). On June 29th 1931 Hallvard Devold raised the Norwegian flag at Myggbukta and took possession ofEirik Raudes Land, the area between 71°30 N and 75°40 N where Norwegian hunters had been mostactive; this action was supported by Norway who proclaimed annexation on July 10th 1931. The claimwas contested by Denmark, which appealed to the International Court of Justice at The Hague; the casewas decided in Denmark’s favour on April 5th 1933, by a majority verdict (12 to two). Arktisk Næringsdrift had 10 hunters in East Greenland from 1929–31, and subsequently had 5–6hunters active each year. Many spent long periods in East Greenland; Gerhard Antonsen wintered for atotal of seven years at Revet. Norwegian hunters seem to have been generally more successful than theirDanish counterparts, Arktisk Næringsdrift reporting a catch of 3400 fox and 26 bear from 1929–38. Inthe season 1937–38 a single hunter at Kap Herschell caught a record 642 fox. Norwegian hunters arereported to have shot large numbers of birds, including in the period 1928–31 a total of 190 ravens, 40snowy owl, 170 falcons (70 shot by Finn Devold at Myggbukta in 1928), 200 barnacle geese, 80 eiderduck, 65 red-throated diver and 2040 ptarmigan. Supply ships visited the hunting stations every year, those used including VESLEKARI, POLARBJØRN,SÆLBARDEN, BUSKØ and ISBJØRN. The supply ships occasionally carried small parties of tourists orsport hunters. In spite of the outbreak of war in Europe and Norway’s capitulation, VESLEKARI was sentto East Greenland in 1940 to relieve the Norwegian hunting stations as usual. On its return voyage itwas arrested by the FRIDTHOF NANSEN, a Norwegian naval ship in the service of the allied forces, whichalso destroyed the radio facilities at Myggbukta. In 1941 another supply vessel, BUSKØ, was arrested bythe U.S. patrol boat NORTHLANDS. Only three hunters wintered, and in the summer of 1942 huntingoperations were suspended. One hunter went to West Greenland, another joined the U.S. forces, while 13© A.K. Higgins
  14. 14. Henry Rudi remained in East Greenland as a member of Nordøstgrønlands Slædepatrulje. All hunting stations and huts had names, some incidental or commemorative, although many wereknown simply by their geographical location. A large number were known by different names atdifferent times. The most exhaustive account of the stations and huts is that of Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen(published 1994).1930 Lauge Koch’s geological expeditionFor this summer expedition, Koch secured passage on the GODTHAAB, which was to visit EastGreenland on a Naval inspection cruise. There were two geological, one zoological and one botanicalparty. Ice conditions created some difficulties, but work was carried out on Clavering Ø, and in parts ofthe Kap Stosch and Moskusoksefjord areas. On the way home the expedition disembarked fromGODTHAAB in Reykjavik, and travelled back to Denmark aboard DRONNING ALEXANDRINE. The summer expeditions of 1929 and 1930 visited the same general region and had many of the sameparticipants.1930 Bob Bartlett East Greenland expeditionRobert A. Bartlett made a journey to East Greenland in 1930 with his schooner EFFIE M. MORRISSEY,accompanied by the big-game hunter Harry Whitney. The main purpose was to collect archaeologicaland anthropological specimens for the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. Theexpedition visited the coastal region between 74°–76°50 N, Kap Bismarck being the northern pointreached. Archaeological excavations were made at Kap David Gray and Eskimonæs.1930–31 Constantin Dumbrava’s Scoresby Sund expeditionThe Rumanian scientist Constantin Dumbrava had spent several years in the Ammassalik region, and in1930 moved his area of interest to the Scoresby Sund region, in defiance of the wishes of the Danishauthorities. The Norwegian sealer GRANDE, captained by Bernt Heide, left Dumbrava on the east side ofHurry Inlet in the summer of 1930, where he built a house and made meteorological observations. Thenext year GODTHAAB was diverted to pick him up and extradite him to Europe.1930–31 Deutsche Grönland-Expedition, led by Alfred L. WegenerThe main 19-man party of Alfred Wegener’s expedition to undertake a systematic study of theGreenland ice cap and its climate sailed to West Greenland, and from there ascended to the centre of theice cap and established the Eismitte station. Wegener died during a journey on the ice cap in November1930. A three-man party led by Walther Kapp travelled to the Scoresby Sund region of East Greenlandin July 1930 aboard GERTRUD RASK, with the intention of carrying out supplementary meteorologicalobservations. Initially studies were undertaken around the town of Scoresbysund, but in early Septemberthe party moved with the help of Greenlanders to the west coast of Jameson Land where Wegener’sOststation was established south of the present Gurreholm. The party sledged back to Scoresbysund inMay 1931, and in July sailed for Europe aboard GERTRUD RASK.1930–32 Møre Grønland expeditionThis six-man expedition was led by Jonas Karlsbak, and included four members who had previouslyhunted with the Hird expedition. They travelled up in 1930 with VESLEKARI. Three of the huntersopened up new terrain on the south side of Kong Oscar Fjord with main stations at Antarctichavn andKap Peterséns, and built twelve new huts between Canning Land and Alpefjord. In autumn 1931 KnutRøbek fell through the fjord ice and was drowned. Two men returned home in 1931, and the remainderin 1932 aboard POLARBJØRN.1931 Louise A. Boyd’s arctic expeditionThis was Louise Boyd’s third arctic expedition, but the first to visit East Greenland; the earlierexpeditions were to Frans Josef Land in 1926, and to Spitzbergen and Frans Josef Land in 1928. The1931 expedition was primarily a photographic reconnaissance in preparation for the more ambitious1933 expedition. The Norwegian sealer VESLEKARI was chartered, and in the course of the summerevery fjord and sound between latitudes 72°–74°N was visited. The inner part of Isfjord was visited for 14© A.K. Higgins
  15. 15. the first time and Gerard de Geer Gletscher discovered, and from the south end of Kjerulf Fjord a newroute to Hisinger Gletscher was explored and mapped. Alpefjord and Röhss Fjord were also penetratedto their heads. The passengers included the big-game hunter Harry Whitney.1931 Von Gronau’s flight over the Inland IceWolfgang von Gronau with three companions made a pioneer flight in August 1931 from Europe toNorth America in a Dornier seaplane, “Grönland-Wal”, which included a crossing of the Inland Ice fromScoresbysund to Sukkertoppen. After taking off from Scoresbysund, strong winds were encountered inthe inner part of the fjords, and a diversion was made southwards to gain altitude, in the process flyingover unexplored mountains south of Scoresby Sund, one range of which now bears the name GronauNunatakker.1931 Høygaard and Mehren expeditionThe Norwegians Arne Høygaard and Martin Mehren made a crossing of the Inland Ice from west to eastin July and August 1931. On August 6th they sighted the first nunataks of East Greenland at about73°30 N, and during the next ten days made their way through the unexplored glaciers and nunataksbetween 73°30 –74°10 N, eventually reaching northern Strindberg Land, and via WaltershausenGletscher the west coast of Nordfjord. The return to Norway was made with POLARBJØRN.1931 Norcross-Bartlett expedition to the Greenland SeaRobert A. Bartlett and Arthur D. Norcross made a voyage to East Greenland with the schooner EFFIE M.MORRISSEY, their aim being to make collections for the Smithsonian Institute, the American Museum ofNatural History and the Heye Foundation. Ice conditions off East Greenland were very difficult, and theship was trapped for 37 days before land was reached at Clavering Ø. Kap Stosch, Shannon and a fewother localities were visited.1931–34 Treårsexpedition til Christian X’s Land – led by Lauge KochThe Treårsexpedition (Three-year expedition) was the largest and most comprehensive expedition sentto East Greenland by Denmark. Based on a plan by Lauge Koch, the financial support came largelyfrom the Carlsberg Foundation and from private contributions, while government support was in theform of transport to and from Greenland in the ships GUSTAV HOLM and GODTHAAB, and the loan ofsea-planes from the Navy. Topographical surveying was entrusted to the Geodætisk Institut. Theexpedition was to extend over four summers and three winters, the scientists wintering in specially builtstations. The specific tasks of the expedition included preparation of a topographic map of the region72°–76°N, together with geological, zoological, botanical, archaeological and hydrographical studies inthe same region. Lauge Koch was empowered as the Danish police authority in East Greenland pending the verdict onsovereignty of East Greenland by the International Court of Justice at The Hague. After the decision infavour of Denmark, Ejnar Mikkelsen was appointed Inspector for East Greenland under the authority ofGrønlands Styrelse, although in practice Lauge Koch continued to represent police authority in EastGreenland during his expeditions until 1939. The 1931 expedition numbered 65, including 22 scientists and their assistants. The principal task ofthe first year was construction of the two main wintering stations at Eskimonæs and Ella Ø, and twosmaller houses at Nordfjord and Kap Brown. Scientific work of all kinds was commenced, but was notextensive during the summer because of difficult ice conditions and the demands of house-building.Geological work was carried out mainly on Clavering Ø, Ymer Ø, Traill Ø and Hochstetter Forland.Ten scientists overwintered in 1931–32, and a great deal was accomplished during autumn and springsledge journeys. The 1932 expedition numbered 95, including 37 scientists and their assistants. Two sea-planes wereloaned by the Danish Navy, one carried up aboard GUSTAV HOLM, and the second brought up on theFrench ship POURQUOI PAS?. Four aerial photographers were loaned by the Army Flying Corps. Theaircraft support led to a considerable increase in the effectivety of the cartographic work, with aerialphotography supporting the ground trigonometric surveys. On the basis of reconnaissance flights aworking chart was prepared of the area 70°–77°N, including many hitherto unexplored regions along the 15© A.K. Higgins
  16. 16. margin of the Inland Ice, and was published in 1932 at a scale of 1:1 million. A new house (Kulhus) wasbuilt during the summer on Hochstetter Forland. Scientific studies were carried out between HochstetterForland in the north and Traill Ø in the south. Zoological and hydrographical investigations based onGODTHAAB were carried out in most of the fjord system from latitudes 72°–74°N. Archaeologicalstudies were made on the classical sites on Clavering Ø, and in the district around Ella Ø. Icelandicponies were used with some success for the transport of camp equipment and geological samples.Weather and ice conditions were more favorable than in 1931. Twelve scientists overwintered in 1932–33. The summer of 1933 saw the culmination of the expedition, which numbered 109, of whom halfwere scientists. Weather and ice conditions were very favourable, and in August GUSTAV HOLMreached as far north as the Norsk Øer off Lambert Land (77°N), from where reconnaissance flights weremade northwards to Peary Land. Aerial photography was undertaken throughout the region 72°–76°N,and the ground trigonometrical survey was completed. Geological studies extended from LiverpoolLand in the south to Skærfjorden in the north, and westwards to the innermost parts of the fjord systems.A mining camp was established on Clavering Ø to investigate a mineralised dyke. GODTHAABundertook zoological and hydrographical studies in the Scoresby Sund fjord system. Eleven ponies wereused for transport, mainly at the mining camp. Seven scientists overwintered in 1933–34. The l934 expedition numbered only 65, including 31 scientists and assistants, and had only one ship,GUSTAV HOLM, and one sea-plane. The main work of the summer was geological, including work in thecoastal region between Canning Land and Hudson Land, while inland one party reached CeciliaNunatak and another group led by H.G. Backlund investigated the inner Scoresby Sund fjord system.Poor weather and bad ice conditions hindered activities, and in particular prevented planned relief andtransport of supplies to hunters of the Nanok company.1932 Østgrønlandsk Fangstkompagni Nanok – Gefion expeditionJ.G. Jennov led an expedition in the GEFION with the objective of reoccupying Danmarkshavn andestablishing and extending Danish fox-hunting activities in the Dove Bugt region (75°–77°N). A radiostation was built at Hvalrosodden.1932 Scoresbysund-Komiteen – 2nd East Greenland expeditionEjnar Mikkelsen, chairman of the Scoresbysund Committee for more than 40 years, was leader of thisexpedition to the relatively poorly known coastal region south of Scoresby Sund. The aims were in partscientific, and in part to erect houses at suitable locations to enable communication between thesettlements of Ammassalik and Scoresbysund. The expedition included British and Danish scientistsand sailed from Copenhagen on June 22nd aboard SØKONGEN, reaching the Greenland coast at KapDalton on July 10th. Scientific work was begun here and extended progressively southwards, detailedwork being carried out in the Kangerlussuaq region (68°–68°30 N). The expedition left Ammassalik forCopenhagen on September 10th.1932 Skaun and Welde – “Dagsposten” expeditionSigurd Skaun and Harald Welde visited East Greenland with the support of the Norwegian newspaper“Dagsposten” and Adolf Hoel, to investigate supposed columns of smoke seen by A. Høygaard and M.Mehren in 1931 on the east side of Waltershausen Gletscher. They travelled to Greenland withPOLARBJØRN, and were landed at Kap Bull at the mouth of Moskusoksefjord. A three week journey indifficult terrain in western Hudson Land and Ole Rømer Land revealed no evidence of volcanic activityor hot springs. They returned home with POLARBJØRN. Further sightings of smoke in this region havebeen reported, but the most likely explanation is that the “smoke” consists of clouds of dust, depositedon the floor of an ice-dammed lake beside Waltershausen Gletscher and periodically disturbed by strongkatabatic winds.1932–33 7th Thule expedition, led by Knud RasmussenThe 7th Thule expedition, the last of Knud Rasmussen’s expeditions, involved major scientificinvestigations along the SE coast of Greenland from Kap Farvel in the south to Kangerlussuaq in thenorth. Emphasis was placed on surveying, and a sea-plane was loaned by the Danish Royal Navy to 16© A.K. Higgins
  17. 17. undertake aerial photography. Geological, archaeological, botanical and zoological studies were alsoprominent, and in 1933 Knud Rasmussen was engaged in the production of a cinematographic record ofGreenlandic eskimo life. Almost all the work of the expedition was south of 69°N, but some of the aerial photographyextended into the almost unknown region of high mountains and glaciers between Kangerlussuaq andScoresby Sund, a region which figures prominently in official reports of the expedition as KnudRasmussens Land. Rasmussen had sailed along the Blosseville Kyst, the SE coast of Knud RasmussensLand, in August 1933 aboard KIVIOQ on the way to visit Scoresbysund, returning to Ammassalik by thesame route. Knud Rasmussens Land was the official name for this region from 1936 to 1953, but wasabandoned when the name was transferred at the suggestion of Eske Brun to cover most of NorthGreenland, explored by Knud Rasmussen during the 1st and 2nd Thule expeditions.1932–33 International Polar YearJ.-B. Charcot selected the site for a French scientific station adjacent to Scoresbysund in 1931. In 1932POURQUOI PAS? accompanied by the icebreaker POLLUX carried materials and personnel to set up thestation, which comprised a main building Ker Doumer and a smaller hut Ker Virginia. The station wasmanned until the summer of 1933. Elsewhere in East Greenland the Norwegian weather stations at Myggbukta and Jónsbu took part inthe project.1932–34 Sigurd Tolløfsen’s expeditionA six-man hunting expedition led by Sigurd Tolløfsen travelled up to East Greenland together with JohnGiæver’s expedition aboard ISBJØRN in 1932. Tolløfsen’s party used the Arktisk Næringsdrift terrainbetween Revet and Godthåb Gulf, and the so-called Sunnmøre terrain from Jackson Ø to Kuhn Ø. Theexpedition expanded the northern terrain with a new station, Sigurdsheim, and six new huts. One of thehunters, Arnljot Tolløfsen, was drowned between Loch Fyne and Kap Herschel, and the remaining fivewent home with the NSIU relief ship SÆLBARDEN in 1934.1932–34 Helge Ingstad’s expeditionThis six-man expedition was led by Helge Ingstad, a writer and lawyer who had been appointedsysselmann (= governor) of Eirik Raudes Land following Norway’s declaration of sovereignty over partof East Greenland in 1931. The expedition went up with POLARBJØRN and took over the territory on thesouth side of Kong Oscar Fjord. Several huts were built, and a number of sledge journeys made,including one in the spring of 1933 across Jameson Land to the interior of Nordvestfjord. After newsthat Norway had lost the court case in The Hague was received, Ingstad returned home in 1933 withPOLARBJØRN, while the remainder of the expedition returned to Norway with SÆLBARDEN in 1934.1932–34 John Giæver’s expeditionJohn Giæver’s six-man expedition travelled up with Tolløfsen’s expedition in ISBJØRN. Theyestablished Jónsbu radio station, which operated from 1932–34, and two other hunting stations north ofArdencaple Fjord (Ottostrand and Olestua). Eighteen hunting huts were also built between the southcoast of Ardencaple Fjord and Kap Niels, including two inland by large lakes, together representing aconsiderable expansion in the range of Norwegian hunting activities. The expedition returned homewith SÆLBARDEN in 1934.1933 Louise A. Boyd’s arctic expeditionLouise Boyd’s fourth arctic expedition was organised with the cooperation and assistance of theAmerican Geographical Society, and included five scientists: two surveyors, a physiographer, ageologist and a botanist. The botanist developed appendicitus and returned home without reachingGreenland. VESLEKARI, captained by Johan Olsen, was the expedition ship, and left Norway on June28th for Jan Mayen and Greenland. Hold with Hope was reached on July 13th after an easy passagethrough the ice. Nearly all the fjords from 72°30 –74°N were visited, and the expedition departed fromMackenzie Bugt on September 9th. Louise Boyd continued during this voyage her primary interest of making a photographic record of 17© A.K. Higgins
  18. 18. arctic scenery. For the 1933 voyage VESLEKARI had been fitted with an echo sounder, and profiles weresuccessfully made in all the fjords, as well as on the Atlantic crossing. Knækdalen (Gregory Valley) wasdiscovered and explored for the first time, and a photogrammetric map was made of the valley, as wellas detailed maps of glaciers in Knækdalen and on Louise Boyd Land. In the course of geological studiesN.E. Odell ascended a number of mountains around Knækdalen and in other areas. Tide guages set up attwo localities gave useful information.1933 Lindbergh’s flight across GreenlandCharles Lindbergh and his wife crossed the Greenland Inland Ice from west to east on August 4th intheir Lockheed Sirius monoplane “Tingmissartoq” as part of a six month series of flights which tookthem around much of the North Atlantic Ocean. Lauge Koch provided them with weather reports, andthey landed at Ella Ø, subsequently visiting Eskimonæs on August 5th. On August 6th they flew southto Ammassalik, with instructions from Koch to pay special attention to the high mountains south ofScoresby Sund. They re-crossed the Inland Ice westwards to Nuuk (then known as Godthåb), thenrounded the south coast of Greenland back to Ammassalik. At Ammassalik they were entertained byKnud Rasmussen on August 13th, before departing the next day for Iceland. Lauge Koch subsequentlynamed a group of nunataks south of Scoresby Sund after Lindbergh.1933 Cambridge expedition to East GreenlandG.C.L. Bertram, David Lack and Brian B. Roberts travelled to East Greenland as guests of J.-B. Charcotaboard POURQUOI PAS?. Zoological and ornithological studies were made around the inner part ofHurry Inlet.1933 John K. Howard Expedition to East GreenlandJohn K. Howard visited East Greenland in August with NORDKAP II. A small geological partydisembarked on western Ymer Ø.1934 Count Leonardo Bonzi spedizione italianaA five-man Italian climbing expedition led by Leonardo Bonzi had intended to make an attempt on theWatkins Bjerge from the Blosseville Kyst. However, the expedition ran into difficult ice conditions intheir small Icelandic boat NJALL, and turned its attentions instead to the unexplored mountains behindVolquart Boon Kyst (70°N) on the south side of Scoresby Sund. Between August 22nd and 29th parties explored and climbed a number of mountains and glaciersover an east–west distance of 35 km. Thirteen names, nearly all with Italian connections, were bestowedon a variety of features. Ice conditions delayed departure, and the expedition did not leave the coastuntil September 7th.1934 Alfred Rosenkrantz expedition to Scoresby SundAlfred Rosenkrantz spent the summer in the Scoresby Sund region studying Jurassic stratigraphy,assisted by Greenlanders.1934 British trans–Greenland expeditionMartin Lindsay led a three-man expedition to investigate the mountainous region south of ScoresbySund in 1934, approaching the area after crossing the Inland Ice from West Greenland by dog sledge.From the area of the Gronau Nunatakker the expedition traversed SW around the head ofKangerlussuaq, and eventually reached Ammassalik. The expedition sailed back to Europe withJACINTH.1934–37 Suløya Grønlands expeditionThis four-man Norwegian fox-hunting expedition included two of the pioneers from the Hirdexpedition, Hermann Andresen and Peder Sulebak. The group travelled up with SÆLBARDEN, andhunted in two parties of two, on the south side of Kong Oscar Fjord (72°N) and on Wollaston Forland(74°26 N). Two men travelled home in 1936, and the others in 1937. 18© A.K. Higgins
  19. 19. 1935 Anglo-Danish expedition to East GreenlandAugustine Courtauld and Lawrence R. Wager joined forces in 1935 for a summer expedition based atKangerlussuaq, with the primary aim of an ascent of the Watkins Bjerge. The 14-strong party included aDanish archaeological group (Eigil Knuth, Helge Larsen and Ebbe Munck) as well as four wives. Onthe way to Kangerlussuaq QUEST picked up two eskimo families who were to experiment with hunting. In August 1935 a six-man climbing party, which included Courtauld, Wager and Munck, embarkedon the successful ascent of Gunnbjørn Fjeld, the highest peak of the Watkins Bjerge, a 190 km roundtrip via Sorgenfri Gletscher and Christian IV Gletscher. QUEST left Kangerlussuaq on August 29th, leaving behind seven members who were to continuework as the 1935–36 British East Greenland expedition.1935–36 British East Greenland expedition, led by L.R. WagerThis was a continuation of the 1935 Anglo-Danish expedition to East Greenland and was made up of aparty of seven led by Lawrence R. Wager, supported by a group of 14 eskimos. The greater part of thework of the expedition was geological, and was carried out south of latitude 69°N. Two sledge journeyspenetrated north of 68°N, one in the spring of 1936 up Frederiksborg Gletscher to Gronau Nunatakkerand Seward Plateau, and the second in summer 1936 up Frederiksborg Gletscher, west of Prinsen afWales Bjerge, and south around the head of Kangerlussuaq. The party returned home in late Augustaboard SELEIS.1936 Alfred Rosenkrantz expedition to Scoresby SundAlfred Rosenkrantz again spent a summer in East Greenland studying Jurassic stratigraphy, assisted byGreenlanders from Scoresbysund, and with financial support from the Carlsberg Foundation.1936–37 QUEST expedition – Gaston MicardCount Gaston Micard hired the QUEST, captained by Ludolf Schelderup, for a tour to East Greenland,overwintering at the mouth of Loch Fyne (74°N). He made use of Norwegian hunting huts in LochFyne, and also built three new huts, later taken over by Arktisk Næringsdrift. Two of the crew, WillieKnutsen and Karl Nicoloisen wintered at Kap Stosch. The crew of QUEST caught 162 fox. At the end ofJuly 1937 QUEST returned to Europe, making short stops at Scoresbysund and Ammassalik on the way.1936–38 Bird and Bird ornithological expeditionEdward and Charles Bird spent respectively one and two years at Myggbukta and Peters Bugt makingornithological studies. Transport and other facilities were provided by NSIU and Arktisk Næringsdrift.1936–38 Two-year expedition, led by Lauge KochThis expedition, which had almost entirely geological objectives, was to last for three summers and twowinters. Each summer expedition was ship-based, with up to seven motor boats providing localtransport, and in 1938 a sea-plane was used for aerial reconnaissance. Ponies were used extensively fortransport in Jameson Land. Large wintering parties extended the field season by carrying out springgeological explorations by dog sledge. The expedition was financed in part by private contributions, thebalance and loan of the ship being provided by the Danish state. 1936 – GUSTAV HOLM carried 47 men to East Greenland, reaching Scoresbysund on July 23rd. Itwas an exceptionally favourable ice year, no pack ice being encountered either on the voyage out or thevoyage home. Five geological teams were at work mainly between latitudes 71°–74°N, including partsof Gauss Halvø, Kap Stosch, Ella Ø, Traill Ø and Nathorst Fjord. Fourteen men wintered at twostations. 1937 – Ice conditions proved extremely difficult in 1937. One of the main objectives was theerection of a new wintering station, planned to be placed in Nathorst Fjord, but GUSTAV HOLM couldnot reach the area because of the pack ice, and the new station Gurreholm was built instead in westernJameson Land near the mouth of Schuchert Flod. Ice prevented the relief of the northern winteringstations, with the result that the scientists who had intended to return home were forced to overwinterfor a further year. Eight geological, one zoological and one botanical team were at work during thesummer in parts of Hold with Hope, the Giesecke Bjerge and Jameson Land. Twenty-three men 19© A.K. Higgins
  20. 20. overwintered at four stations. 1938 – GODTHAAB was expedition ship, and carried one additional geological party to Greenland tojoin those already in the field. Ice conditions again proved difficult, although not as bad as 1937. Workwas carried out in Hudson Land, the Giesecke Bjerge, Jameson Land and Scoresby Land (71°–74°N).Only two members overwintered, returning home in 1939.1937 Louise A. Boyd’s Arctic expeditionLouise Boyd once again chartered VESLEKARI, captained by Johan Olsen, for a voyage to EastGreenland and Spitzbergen. Scientific staff included two geologists, a botanist, a surveyor and ahydrographer. The expedition left Tromsø on June 30th, visited Jan Mayen, then made a difficultpassage of the pack ice belt arriving at the East Greenland coast on July 25th. Working first in theTyrolerdal area, VESLEKARI went to the assistance of POLARBJØRN which had run aground, then sailedsouth and west to the inner part of Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord, where work was carried out at the head ofKjerulf Fjord. Rhedin Fjord, Alpefjord and Narhvalsund were also visited. Difficulties with the pack icecaused delays and diversions, but VESLEKARI came free on August 25th and set course for Spitzbergen. Scientific results in East Greenland included a general hydrographic chart of the region 72°–74°N, aswell as detailed hydrographic surveys of Tyrolerfjord, Kjerulf Fjord and Narhvalsund. Photogrammetictopographic maps were produced of parts of Tyrolerdal and Narhvalgletscher, as well as a plane-tablesurvey of Agassiz Dal. Regional botanical studies were made, while geological work concentrated onaspects of glacial and Quaternary geology.1937–38 Søren Richter’s expeditionSøren Richter, an archaeologist who had twice overwintered with Arktisk Næringsdrift expeditions, leda three-man hunting group using the terrain south of Kong Oscar Fjord. The expedition travelled up andback with POLARBJØRN.1937–39 Hermann Andresen’s expeditionHermann Andresen and Lars Vemøy travelled up in 1937 with POLARBJØRN to work the WollastonForland terrain. Lars Vemøy returned to Norway in 1938, while Andresen continued alone until 1939.1937–40 Sigurd Tolløfsen’s expeditionIn 1937 a six-man expedition led by Sigurd Tolløfsen travelled up on POLARBJØRN, but due to bad iceconditions could not reach their hunting terrain and returned home. Four men went up in 1938, andoccupied the terrain between Kuhn Ø and Dove Bugt. Three returned home in 1938, with EivindTolløfsen continuing alone from a base at Jónsbu.1938 Louise A. Boyd’s Arctic expeditionThe 1938 expedition proved to be Louise Boyd’s last major expedition to East Greenland. VESLEKARI,captained by Johan Olsen, was expedition ship, and scientists included a hydrographer, a surveyor and ageologist. Leaving Norway on June 13th, VESLEKARI visited Jan Mayen on the way to the coast of EastGreenland which was reached at Bass Rock on July 25th. Investigations were made around Clavering Øand in Granta Fjord until July 31st, when VESLEKARI headed northwards along the coast. On August2nd the NE end of Île de France (77°48 N) was reached just south of Kap Montpensier, at the time thefarthest north landing made by a ship on the east coast of Greenland (BELGICA had reached 78°10 N inthe pack ice in 1905, but their northernmost landing was in southern Île de France). Retreatingsouthwards, parts of Dove Bugt were explored, and the inner parts of Bessel Fjord and ArdencapleFjord visited. On August 27th VESLEKARI left the coast en route for Spitzbergen. The main scientific results included a general hydrographic chart of the region 74°–77°N, withdetailed profiles in Pustervig and off Soraner Gletscher. Tidal observations were made atDanmarkshavn. Other work included geological studies, botanical work and a survey of theOrienteringsøer.1938 Sea-plane expedition to Peary Land, by Lauge KochSupposed sightings of land between Kronprins Christian Land and Spitzbergen had been made by J.P. 20© A.K. Higgins
  21. 21. Koch during the 1906–08 Danmark expedition, by Lauge Koch in 1933 and Peter Freuchen in 1935.Another alleged sighting of what had become known as Fata Morgana Land by Ivan D. Papanin’s icedrift expedition in 1937 led directly to Lauge Koch’s 1938 seaplane expedition. Koch flew to Kings Bay in Spitzbergen with the Dornier-Wal to be used on the two Greenlandflights, while GUSTAV HOLM sailed to Kings Bay with a reserve Heinkel seaplane. The first flight onMay 10th reached the coast of Kronprins Christian Land, while the second on May 15th–16th extendedacross Peary Land. Both flights crossed the supposed position of the mysterious land sightings, but notrace of land was seen.1938–39 Ole Klokseth’s expeditionThis two-man Norwegian hunting expedition, together with a Swedish assistant, were put on land by thesealer GRANDE. A station was built on the north side of Geographical Society Ø at Kap Mackenzie andhuts on the north side of Ymer Ø and east of Walterhausen Gletscher.1938–39 Den Norsk-Franske PolarekspedisjonWilly Knutsen and Count Gaston Micard embarked on a combined hunting and scientific expedition in1938. Micard purchased RINGSEL, which was renamed EN AVANT and captained for the voyage by KarlNicolaisen. A main station, Micardbu, and three huts were built on the east coast of Germania Land, andtwo huts on islands south of Danmarkshavn. Thirteen men overwintered, the EN AVANT in winterharbour in northern Lille Koldewey. Weather reports were sent to Oslo three times a day. During thewinter Gaston Micard became ill, and was rescued by a Stinson seaplane operating from the shipVESLEKARI.1938–39 Den Danske Hundeslæde-EkspeditionIn the winter of 1938–39 Elmar Drastrup and Finn Kristoffersen made a journey by dog-sledge alongthe coast of East Greenland from Sandodden in Young Inlet to Ingolf Fjord, and explored a new route tothe interior of Kronprins Christian Land. The purpose of the journey was to find a better route to PearyLand, and if possible to traverse across to North-West Greenland, although the latter objective wasfrustrated by open water and heavier than usual snow conditions, which forced a retreat back along theEast Greenland coast. A journey of 2350 km was completed in 105 travelling days. Improvements weremade to the map on the route of the expedition, especially in the interior of Ingolf Fjord and the valleysystem of Vandredalen.1938–39 Mørkefjord expedition, led by Eigil Knuth and Ebbe MunckAn alleged sighting of the mythical Fata Morgana Land between Spitzbergen and Kronprins ChristianLand by Ivan D. Papanin in 1937 was a prime factor in the promotion of this expedition, although itsmain aims came to be the exploration of the little known land region between latitudes 76°–82°N, onlytraversed previously by the 1906–08 Danmark and 1909–12 Alabama expeditions. The somewhatcumbersome full name of the expedition was “Den Dansk Nordøstgrønlands Ekspedition, udsendt af AlfTrolle, Ebbe Munck og Eigil Knuth til Minde om Danmark-Ekspedition”; the participants sometimesused an abbreviated form “MUNEK-Ekspedition”, but it is generally known as the Mørkefjordexpedition after the main base at Mørkefjord. Alf Trolle had made very substantial donations, whileother financial support came from the Carlsberg and Tuborg Foundations. Ebbe Munck and Eigil Knuthwere leaders of the expedition, Knuth being in charge of the wintering party of six scientists and threeGreenlanders. The ship GAMMA was purchased, and captained by Peder Marcus Pedersen departed fromCopenhagen on June 19th 1938 with a cargo including 70 dogs and a De Havilland Tiger Moth fittedwith floats. The coast of North-East Greenland was reached near Store Koldewey, and the expeditionand its equipment were unloaded west of Hvalrosodden at the mouth of Mørkefjord. The winteringhouse, Mørkefjord Station, was built here, while Alwin Pedersen, loosely attached to the expedition,had his own small house at Hvalrosodden. Between October 1938 and March 1939 seven sledge journeys were made northwards to lay outdepots for the spring sledge journeys, of which there were three lasting from April to June 1939. EigilNielsen reached the north point of Kronprins Christian Land, exploring on the way the interior of Ingolf 21© A.K. Higgins
  22. 22. Fjord. Eigil Knuth reached as far as Antarctic Bugt, but also explored part of Skærfjorden and theNorske Øer. Svend Sølver explored Jøkelbugten, and penetrated westwards into the nunatak regionclimbing Milepælen on Moltke Nunatak. Meanwhile, further south, Alwin Pedersen and Paul Geltingmade numerous shorter journeys around Dove Bugt, and to Sælsø and Annekssøen. The main party returned home with GAMMA in 1939, but Mørkefjord Station continued to beoperated as a weather station until 1942, although with increasing difficulties due to the war in Europe.Two men made a 1000 km journey from Mørkefjord to Scoresbysund in May–July 1940. One of the lasttelegraphists, Ib Poulsen, was to become leader of Nordøstgrønlands Slædepatrulje.1939–40 Swedish-Norwegian expedition to East GreenlandThis five-man expedition to Clavering Ø included Kaare Rodahl, who investigated vitamins in Arcticdiet, and Hans W:son Ahlmann, who carried out glaciological studies. Three assistants, two of themNorwegian hunters, accompanied the expedition. Ahlmann and Rodahl travelled up with POLARBJØRNarriving in July 1939; Ahlmann returned with the ship in August. Rodahl remained in East Greenlanduntil August 1940, returning with VESLEKARI to Iceland, and later to the Orkney Islands. The hunting station at Revet was used as a base and laboratory, while a small hut was built inLerbugt in northern Clavering Ø. Glaciological studies were carried out mainly on Frejagletscher, andascents were made of Højnålen and Moltke Bjerg. Rodahl’s biological studies led, amongst other things,to the discovery that poisoning due to eating bear liver arises from vitamin A enrichment.1939–40 Søren Richter’s expeditionThis three-man Norwegian hunting expedition worked the terrain on the south side of Kong OscarFjord. A new main station, Havna, was built near Noret and made the best catch of all the Norwegianstations that winter, a total of 82 foxes, 34 of them alive. After the outbreak of war in Europe the hunterstravelled to Iceland in the summer of 1940.1940–19601940–44 German meteorological expeditionsWhen the Danish and Norwegian weather stations in East Greenland ceased broadcasting at theoutbreak of war, Germany attempted to establish its own meteorological stations in order to follow thedevelopment of weather conditions in the North Atlantic. Five main expeditions are recorded, of whichtwo operated radio stations for some time before being put out of action.1940 VESLEKARI and FURENAK expeditionsThe first attempts by the German occupying powers in Norway to maintain weather reports from EastGreenland involved the sending of Nazi sympathisers up with hunting personnel. VESLEKARI was sentup with Danish and Norwegian hunters to relieve the radio station at Myggbukta, but was arrested bythe patrol boat FRIDTJOF NANSEN. FURENAK landed an expedition with radio, weapons and Norwegianuniforms on the south side of Davy Sund in Autumn 1940, but was discovered by FRIDTJOF NANSEN,and the installations destroyed.1941 BUSKØ expeditionThe Norwegian sealer BUSKØ landed a small party of German meteorologists in Peters Bugt in thesummer of 1941. The sledge patrol observed BUSKØ and alerted the U.S. patrol boat NORTHLAND whicharrested the landing party.1941–45 Nordøstgrønlands SlædepatruljeThe first sledge patrol was formed in the summer of 1941 on the initiative of Eske Brun from volunteersamong the 27 Danes and Norwegians stranded in Greenland at the outbreak of war. These were mainlyhunters and staff at the weather stations. The patrol initially comprised six Danes, three Norwegians andsix Greenlander dog drivers, whose responsibility was to patrol the coast from 70°–77°N and to preventand report German activity. Their patrols led to the discovery of the German meteorological expeditionat Hansa Bugt in March 1943, as a consequence of which Eli Knudsen was shot at Sandodden and the 22© A.K. Higgins